Thursday, November 19, 2009

Note to Candidates: A Political Party is not a Basketball Team

First, let me quote the definition of a political party in Encyclopedia Britannica Online:

"Formal political parties originated in their modern form in Europe and the U.S. in the 19th century. Whereas mass-based parties appeal for support to the whole electorate, cadre parties aim at attracting only an active elite; most parties have features of both types. All parties develop a political program that defines their ideology and sets out the agenda they would pursue should they win elective office or gain power through extra parliamentary means"

A political is not just some groups of people coming together saying "hey, let's get more people so that they can vote for us". A political party is also not just a professional basketball team where you can just buy players with lucrative contract. A political party can be attributed to a group of people with the same ideology. They believe in the same philosophy or idea on how the country and its people can improve.

The fact that almost every candidate today is transferring to another political party scares me. Sure there are no weird political parties in our system that contradicts the ultimate goal of our country's development. But jumping from one party to another means that you do not have a core principle that will guide your decision making process. In short, if you are transferring from party to party, you simply do not have a backbone.

What's even scarier today is that we do not know the exact philosophy or ideals of the current political party. LP, NP, PMP, LAKAS-NUCD, LDP and other political parties are simply names attached to well known personalities. Aside from that fact, they are no more than basketball teams.

Political parties should make sure they are not just pushing their candidates this election, they should also push their guiding principles so that people can choose based on principles and not just on shaky personalities that handles them.

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